What if my car is not safe to drive?

If you even question if you should be driving your vehicle or not you should probably park it and give us a call. We are available for towing 24 hours a day at 320-468-6677.  Most insurance policies have towing coverage.

 

Can I take my vehicle to the repair shop of my choice?

You have the legal right to choose a repair shop of your choice to fix your vehicle.    Your insurer should not attempt to influence your decision regarding where to have your vehicle repaired, it’s illegal if they do. When reporting your claim, immediately let your insurer know which shop you’d like to repair your vehicle. We work with all insurance companies and guarantee our work.

 

Does my insurance company have the right to inspect my vehicle?

Yes, they have the right to inspect your vehicle, but are not required to do so.  If your company chooses to perform an inspection, they can require you to travel a reasonable distance to complete their inspection.  However, they cannot require you to drive your vehicle to one of their own “drive-in” claim centers.  Rather, an adjuster of the insurance company’s choosing may perform the inspection.

 

Do I need to get more than 1 estimate?

No.  You only need to get one estimate. It the insurance company wants an additional estimate they can send out their own appraiser for the second estimate.  Even if you have an estimate from another location or from the insurance company we can work with that.

 

I already have an estimate from my insurance company  and its different than yours?

No problem.  We honor all insurance estimates and we see estimates at just a starting point.  We will work directly with the insurance company to document all damages and get your car back to pre-accident condition.

 

Can the repair shop “save me” my deductible?

No. The repair shop cannot change the cost of the repairs to help you pay your deductible.  Misrepresenting the cost of repairs constitutes fraud.  If a body shop with cheat the insurance company, they are probably cheating you too.

 

Can I have my vehicle repaired with original equipment parts… and will the insurance company pay for them?

If parts are being replaced on your damaged vehicle, your insurance company is required to pay for original equipment (OE) parts, unless you agree to aftermarket parts (parts not made by your vehicles manufacturer).  However, your insurance company is only responsible for restoring your vehicle to the way it was before it was damaged.  If your vehicle was not new at the time of the loss, the insurer does not have to pay for new OE parts.  They must pay for parts of “like kind and quality” (OE parts of comparable age and condition).  If you request new OE parts on an older vehicle, you may have to pay the difference.

 

Do I have the right to a rental car?

If you have not purchased rental car coverage and:

  • You were responsible for the accident; you would not be entitled to reimbursement under your policy.

The other driver is determined

  • to be liable for the accident; you would have the right to see reimbursement from the other driver’s insurance company.

If you have purchased rental car coverage:

  • You can file a claim with your own company for reimbursement, or
  • If you do not want to file a claim with your own insurance company and the other driver was liable for the accident, you have the right to seek reimbursement from the other driver’s insurance company.

 

How is the “fair market value” of my totaled vehicle determined?

When an insurance company “totals” your car, the company must pay you what the car was worth before the accident occurred.  This amount is called the “fair market value,” and includes adjustments for the vehicle’s features, mileage and prior damage.  There are several firms that evaluate and publish automobile market values (like the well-known Kelly Blue Book or NADA) and the results can vary.  Whether the insurance company uses one of these evaluation firms or does its own evaluation, the method the company uses must be documented and must comply with the procedures described in the Minnesota Fair Claim Settlement Act.  You can ask to see the evaluation and ask how the fair market value was determined.  If this information is not provided at your request, or if you believe it does not comply with Minnesota law, you should make a complaint to the Department of Commerce.  You should check with dealers, newspapers ads, used vehicle publications, and other sources to gather your own information on your vehicle’s fair market value to compare with the value provided by the insurance company.  You have the right to negotiate with the company if you believe your car is worth more than what they offer.  Feel free to call us you have any questions. We are here to help.

 

Can I buy back my totaled vehicle?

Maybe.  Once the insurance company has paid you the fair market value for your vehicle, the company owns the vehicle.  Accordingly, the company can decide whether to sell the car back to you or retain it for its own use.  Technically, if the company does sell it back to you, it can determine the price.

 

Should I use my own insurance?

There are varying opinions on this.  Some people feel that if they file a claim with their own insurance company, even though they believe the other party is at fault, the claim will be settled quicker than if they deal with the other party’s insurer.  In reality, it may not work that way.  If you file a claim with your own company, and the facts indicate the other party was most or completely at fault, your insurer may “subrogate” the claim with the other party’s insurance company to reimburse itself for the amount it paid to you for your claim.  The downside to this is there is no requirement, either by law or in your policy, that your insurance company must subrogate your claim.  If your company decides not to subrogate the claim, it may be able to surcharge your policy for the amount it paid out to you.  There is also no required time frame for the subrogated claims process, so it may take months for your insurance company to get reimbursed and to return your deductible to you.

 

Will having an accident make my insurance rates increase, even if the accident was not my fault?

Every insurance company is different and it is hard to speak to that. We would recommend you contact your local insurance agent.

 

How soon may I wash my car?

The vehicle may be washed immediately.

 

How soon can I wax my vehicle after auto body repairs?

We would recommend waiting 90 days after the repairs before the first wax.